Anthony Davis: ‘I’d take legacy over money’

10 Comments

Anthony Davis cannot be a free agent until the summer of 2020. Yet the buzz about where he will play his basketball in the future has reached a fever pitch at the end of 2018 because the NBA has become as much about trades, player movement, and what happens off the court as what does on it. If not more.

When it comes time for Davis to choose where he plays for his next contract — and that could be July of 2020, don’t bet on a trade before then even if Davis rejects the $239 million designated veteran contract extension — it will not be all about the money, Davis told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“I’d take legacy over money,” Davis told Yahoo Sports after posting game highs of 30 points and 20 rebounds to go with five assists in Friday’s loss. “I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me. Don’t get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time.”

Haynes also reports that Davis and LeBron went to dinner together in Los Angeles on Friday night after the Lakers’ win. Davis and LeBron now share an agent in Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.

Does that make the Lakers the early frontrunners to land Davis? Maybe. But it’s far too early to make that bet.

The Pelicans are not trading Davis at February’s trade deadline, sources with direct knowledge of the situation have told NBC Sports — which echoes what Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry said on the record. The Lakers are wise to hype up the trade talk right now, to put pressure Davis and the Pelicans because the Celtics can’t get involved in the trade talks until July (teams can’t trade for two players on “Rose Rule” rookie contract extensions and they already traded for Kyrie Irving). Just don’t expect New Orleans to cave to that pressure. They want to keep Davis, the Pelicans are very active on the trade market right now as buyers trying to boost their team and make it a place Davis wants to play.

If Davis turns down the $239 million contract extension this July the Pelicans will have to consider trade options rather than lose him for nothing in 2020. Davis could sign a five-year, $190 million extension with any team he is traded to, or a four-year, $139 million extension with another team in 2020.

If Davis rejects the contract extension the Pelicans could keep him and try to continue to win him over — something sources hinted the Pelicans will consider — or they will trade him quickly, near the start of July. The latter is what most sources around the league expect.

What uniform Davis will wear when he signs his next contract is something nobody knows right now. Davis included. But if he wants to be a Laker, he’ll be a Laker.

And LeBron knows how to make his case. He’s doing just that.

Is that tampering? Some smaller market GMs say yes, but LeBron responded to them Friday, again via Yahoo.

“They can’t control me at all. And I play by the rules.”

In wake of Kobe Bryant’s death, Kendrick Perkins seeks forgiveness from Kevin Durant

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins
Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kevin Durant once called Kendrick Perkins his favorite teammate of all-time.

A couple weeks ago, they were beefing on Twitter,exchanging barbs that didn’t look as friendly as previously.

Kobe Bryant’s tragic death has Perkins reflecting.

Perkins:

Good for Perkins. Amid all the sorrow, Bryant’s death creates an opportunity for people to re-assess their priorities. Grudges almost always aren’t worth it.

Nick Kyrgios warms up for Australian Open in Kobe Bryant jersey (video)

Nick Kyrgios in Kobe Bryant jersey and Rafael Nadal
Sam Tabone/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kobe Bryant was a great basketball player. His sport-specific skills – shooting, dribbling, positioning – were incredible.

But his competitiveness and work ethic transcended basketball. Those traits earned him admirers far and wide.

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios wore a Bryant jersey to warm up for the Australian Open:

CJ Fogler:

After his fourth-round loss to Rafael Nadal, Kyrgios – wearing a different Kobe jersey – shared his perspective on Bryant:

Kyrgios:

Basketball is practically my life, and I watch it every day, and I’ve been following it for as long as I can remember.

If anything, it motivated me. If you look at the things he stood for and what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like, if anything, it helped me tonight.

I’m a Celtics fan, and so when I saw Kobe do what he does and break the hearts of so many Celtics fans, it was tough to see. But I don’t think they make them like him anymore. He was different. The way he trained, the way he did things, the way he played was special. It’s just sad.

Reports: Kobe Bryant’s helicopter was in holding pattern, advised of flying too low

Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site
PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Leave a comment

Kobe Bryant’s shocking death has left millions trying to cope.

For some, questions turn to the technical: How? How did Bryant’s helicopter crash?

RadarOnline.com:

“Hold outside Burbank, I have an aircraft,” the recording revealed the tower employee advising Bryant’s helicopter during the communication.

“He’s been holding for about 15 minutes,” a flight tower employee said about Bryant’s helicopter around 9:30 a.m.

Emma Parry and Chris Spargo of The U.S. Sun:

The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was told he was flying too close to the ground.

Per audio from before the crash, Zobayan said: “OK, we’ll continue holding.”

RadarOnline.com:

As the flight towers try to assist in the helicopter landing, they are cautioned about the “overcast” weather and their low flight level, meaning they were dangerously close to the ground.

“You’re still too low level for flight following at this time,” the flight toward warned the pilot on the audio.

Bryant’s helicopter was reportedly traveling north along the 118 freeway, turned west and followed the 101 freeway. After hitting heavy fog around 9:40 a.m., the helicopter turned south and made a steep climb from 1200 feet to 2000 feet.

Moments later they reportedly flew into the mountain at 1700 feet and the vehicle was traveling at 161 knots.

There’s still more to learn, including whether the helicopter had mechanical issues. Perhaps, we’ll never get that answer. If we do, it won’t change anything.

Still, it feels natural to search for greater understanding of this inexplicable tragedy.

In Europe, Kobe Bryant recalled for his “Italian qualities”

Xinhua/Mao Siqian) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images
Leave a comment

ROME (AP) — In Europe, where Kobe Bryant grew up, the retired NBA star was being remembered for his “Italian qualities.”

“All of the NBA players are important, because they’re legends, but he’s particularly important to us because he knew Italy so well, having lived in several cities here,” Italian basketball federation president Giovanni Petrucci told The Associated Press. “He had a lot of Italian qualities.”

“He spoke Italian very well. He even knew the local slang,” Petrucci added.

Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. He was 41.

Bryant lived in Italy between the ages of 6 and 13 while his father, Joe Bryant, played for several teams in the country before returning to Pennsylvania for high school. Kobe Bryant spoke fluent Italian and often said it would be a “dream” to play in the country.

The dream almost came true when Bryant nearly joined Virtus Bologna in 2011 during an NBA lockout, only for the deal to fall apart.

“He was a supernatural,” Italian coach Ettore Messina, who worked with Bryant as an assistant for the Lakers, told the AP via text message while traveling with his current club, Olimpia Milano.

“To hear him speak and joke in our language and to remember when his father played here and he was a kid drew a lot of people to the NBA,” Messina said. “He was also always very attentive to help Italian kids arriving in the NBA and to help them enter such a tough and competitive world. He also did that with me when I arrived at the Lakers and I’m still very grateful to him for that. It’s very sad that his family has been devastated like this.”

Dating from his time in Italy, Bryant was a lifelong soccer fan.

AC Milan, one of the clubs that Bryant supported, tweeted: “We have no words to express how shocked we are to hear of the tragic passing of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time and Rossonero fan, Kobe Bryant. All our thoughts are with the families of those affected by this tragic accident. You will forever be missed, Kobe.”

The International Olympic Committee noted in a tweet that Bryant was a two-time gold medalist, adding: “Rest In Peace #KobeBryant You will always stay in our hearts.”